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Rail Fence (ZigZag) Cipher

Tools to decrypt/encrypt Rail Fence automatically. Rail Fence cipher is a transposition cipher consisting in writing a text in zig-zag and read it from left to right.

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Rail Fence (ZigZag) Cipher -

Tag(s) : Cryptography, Transposition Cipher

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# Rail Fence (ZigZag) Cipher

## Rail-Fence Encoder

Tools to decrypt/encrypt Rail Fence automatically. Rail Fence cipher is a transposition cipher consisting in writing a text in zig-zag and read it from left to right.

### How to encrypt using Rail Fence cipher?

Rail Fence Encryption uses an integer for the number of levels of the zigzag

Example: Encrypt DCODEZIGZAG with N=3.

The message is written in zig zag and read in lines.

Example:

 D---E---Z-- -C-D-Z-G-A- --O---I---G

Example: The ciphered message is DEZCDZGAOIG.

### How to decrypt Rail Fence cipher?

Rail Fence decryption requires to know the number of levels N.

Example: Decrypt the message DEZCDZGAOIG with N=3

Write the expected zigzag form and complete it by lines, before reading as zig zag

Example:

 X---X---X-- -X-X-X-X-X- --X---X---X
then
 D---E---Z-- -C-D-Z-G-A- --O---I---G

Example: The original plain text is DCODEZIGZAG.

### How to recognize Rail Fence ciphertext?

A message encoded by Rail-Fence has an index of coincidence equal to that of the language of the original text.

Frequency analysis reveals usual occurrences of common letters similar to a plain text.

### How to decipher Rail Fence without the number of levels?

One can crack Rail Fence by testing all levels from 2 to N. Use the Brute-force attack button.

### What are the variants of the Rail Fence cipher?

There are several variations:

- The fence may begin with a peak or a hollow (up or down).

Example: A...E
.B.D.
..C..
(↘↗ hollow)

Example: ..C..
.B.D.
A...E
(↗↘ peak)

- The first letter is not necessarily the base of the peak or hollow, the zig zag can start in the middle (equivalent to add spaces at the beginning)

Example: ....D.
.A.C.E
..B...
(One shift)

- It is possible to allow the spaces and punctuation, which shifts the characters.

### What is the difference between Rail Fence and ZigZag?

None, Rail Fence is the original word, ZigZag is the mnemonic term.

### When Rail-Fence have been invented?

No date is recognized.